Tory & Mike - MARRIED!

Tory & Mike were married at the Lakeview Pavilion in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Did I mention that this was on the same day as the Patriots were playing the Chiefs... at Gillette Stadium...  And, it turned out to be one of the best weddings!!

I can't say enough about these guys. From day one I looked forward to their wedding and working with them. I'm not sure that you'll find any better couple... Ever. They literally had me crying at the wedding. Not just once, but twice. I can count on one hand the number of times that's happened in my decade plus in the wedding industry.

We started the morning with Tory (amid a rain storm) at her parents house where she and her bridesmaids were dressing.

(Her dress, though!! So beautiful! And perfectly suited for Tory. Couldn't have picked a more perfect one for her if I had chosen one myself.)

Okay, before you go any further, scroll back up to the previous photo group. Mike took a little jar from the wedding and put it outside before the ceremony. Okay, you can continue... (More on this jar later.)

The ceremony was absolutely breathtaking. They had themed their wedding around a winter wonderland (because it is completely fitting for a January wedding in New England). Little did we know that after the blizzard that was the winter before, this winter would be the complete opposite. Despite the warmer temps and the rain, as Tory was walking down the aisle, the rain turned to snow. It was unbelievable and just completed the perfection of the day.

Their vows had me in tears... I have permission to share their vows, and wanted to include some of my favorite parts.

Both Tory's vows to Mike, and Mike's vows to Tory, started and ended with a line from an absolutely beautiful poem by E.E. Cummings:

I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart.

A few other lines that really got me were:

I promise to love you unconditionally and without hesitation, for it is your affection that moves me, your soul that sustains me, your humor that delights me, and your hand that I want to hold for all of our days.

I promise to remember that neither of us are perfect. But will strive to remind myself of the ways we are perfect for each other. 

I can’t solve your problems, but I promise you never will face them alone. On dark days, I will remind you that there is a great big beautiful tomorrow that is waiting for you. I will wait patiently with you and choose love, even when it doesn’t feel like an option

I vow not just to grow old together, but also to grow -- together.

I promise to always remember that adventure is out there and that adventure is always best enjoyed when we are side by side.

And, lastly, the end of each of their vows:

I will love, respect, and trust you, and give you the best of myself, for I know that together we will build a life far better than either of us could imagine alone. I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.

Tory & Mike also included blessing stones as part of their ceremony. Each guest took a stone as they were being seated and at the appointed time during the ceremony, brought it forward and placed it into a glass jar. Each person was to make a wish or blessing for the couple as they put it into the jar. 

This was a really cool way for Tory & Mike to get to see each of the guests that came to their wedding, and a way that their friends and family could be involved in the ceremony.

I had been dying to see their first dance. These guys took dance lessons and learned an amazing routine for their first dance. It included a lift and multiple perfect swirls of Tory's dress. They TOTALLY nailed it! 

Watching these two together at their reception while everyone else was eating was awesome. There was zero doubt that these guys will go the distance. I hope I'm around to shoot their 50th Anniversary Party.

Another awesome part of the wedding day was the artist they had "live paint" the reception. I have never seen this before and it made me totally jealous that I didn't have someone live paint my wedding. Sheila Foley is the artist and she had an absolutely beautiful  beginning to the piece by the time the reception was over. She's so talented and the detail was incredible. You could absolutely identify people from the reception in the painting. I am dying to see the final product!! (You can see a little glimpse of it below.)

After the earlier part of the day was filled with rain and a little snow, the sun came out in full force. We were able to step outside for a few minutes and get a few photos in on the grounds of the Lakeview Pavilion.

Their wedding will go down in AliCaliPhoto history as one of my absolute favorites.

Now, I take you back to the jar Mike had put outside before the ceremony. It had filled with rain from their wedding day. (Seriously, is Mike not the most romantic guy ever?!) When he showed it to Tory I don't think she cried, but I sure did! Haha! Such a thoughtful thing to do. 

They added snow to it together to fill it the rest of the way.

The final photo I have to share is of their favor. They had Jones Soda Bottles made up with photos from their life together. They even made a special one for me that had a photo of the three of us from the engagement session. I love these guys. They are the most thoughtful people I've met in a long time and it was an absolute honor to be there for these moments of their life together.

And I close out this post the only way that seems fitting. I'll let E.E. Cummings take it from here.

i carry your heart with me. i carry it in my heart.
i am never without it. anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling.

i fear no fate. for you are my fate, my sweet. i want
no world, for beuatiful, you are my world, my true.
and it's you who are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows.
here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.

i carry your heart. i carry it in my heart.

 

Tory & Mike's Wedding Day Team:

Erica & Adam - MARRIED!

Erica & Adam were married at Camp Lincoln in Kingston, New Hampshire. They had an absolutely beautiful day for their wedding and were able to rent the camp for the weekend so they could spend as much time as possible celebrating with everyone.

 How amazing were their details?! Life-size Connect Four, Jenga & other fun games, their table numbers, and their awesome name cards attached to a wine glass for each of their guests! (Props to Laurie from  Everyday Details  on the name cards and the giant games!)

How amazing were their details?! Life-size Connect Four, Jenga & other fun games, their table numbers, and their awesome name cards attached to a wine glass for each of their guests! (Props to Laurie from Everyday Details on the name cards and the giant games!)

Their story is a unique one. So unique that I have to share it. They have known each other for more than a quarter of a century...

 I adored their first look! How cute are they!?

I adored their first look! How cute are they!?

Erica & Adam met each other on their first day of pre-school and became fast friends. They ended up in the same class during Kindergarten, first, second, third and fifth grade. (If their mom's hadn't already guessed, this one was made to be... Apparently, the mom's were way ahead of them and had been planning their marriage for years before it finally happened!)

After elementary school Adam and his family moved away, but returned to the area for high school. It wasn't all love-at-first-sight during those years, but they hung out occasionally.

After high school, they became good friends again, as they had been during their elementary years. And then, Adam joined the Marines... They kept in touch here and there, and after he returned from his deployment, Erica & Adam spent an evening catching up over dinner and beers. The third time they hung out after his return, something unexpected happened... Adam kissed Erica! It was a complete surprise, but they agreed it just felt right. Apparently, Adam had his eye on Erica even during his time on active duty, so I guess Erica was the only one who was actually surprised. ;o)

I didn't do engagement photos with Erica and Adam, so this was the first time I had gotten to spend a large amount of time with them in person. The things you learn about people on their wedding day are always so interesting. You get a good sense of who people are by listening to their friends and family talk and give toasts, but also by observing them on what can be one of the most emotional days of their lives.

I am so thankful I was given the absolute privilege of peering into their lives for this one day. Erica was the perfect bride. The one as photographers we all hope we get a dozen of! Not only was she absolutely gorgeous, she was so laid back and was actually more worried about making sure everyone else was okay and had what they needed than herself. I believe self-less is an understatement when it comes to Erica and how she cares for her friends and family. She loves people well.

I didn't get to spend as much time with Adam as I did Erica, but from where I stand, they are a wonderful match. Not only could I see their love, I could feel it. It was a wonderful day and when I say it was FULL of love, I might be understating it.

Congratulations guys! Thanks for sharing a little bit of your story with me!

Erica & Adam's Wedding Day Team: